I've given a lot of thought to what helps us through grief. Among the elements that serve us well are beauty and remembrance. One of the hardest things we feel is the continued missing of our loved one. It may change its form or intensity, but it is a piece of our new "forever." Our loved one has departed. Our missing will not cease. Liz Davies' poem is a remembrance beautifully expressed.
Although Liz's mother died when she was just eight years old, her poem captures the child's view AND the adult daughter's view--with insight and beauty--not an easy thing to do. The poem leads me to wonder how my own mother would relate to my grandchildren whom she cannot know. And yet, I do know, as I believe Liz knows, as I believe Liz carries her mother's living spirit in her heart.
That, as much as any kind of missing, is a part of forever.
My Mother Years After
|Illustration by Kate Greenway, Dover Clipart Series|
I think of her now, years after,
How she would love to see us grow,
My children and I.
See how I run to their aid, Mother,
And lift them with strong arms, on strong legs,
Keep them from harm like a mother tiger,
And hold them, bend down to them,
Laugh with them and tease them,
Touch warm skin, ruffle soft hair,
As you would have done,
Had you lived on.
I think of her on that last morning,
Alone in a quiet house with my father,
The little dog panting gently by the bed,
Her life slowly lifting away in sunbeams.
Did she hope she would still be there
When we returned from school,
Little brother and I, did she?
Or did she plead with Death to hurry,
To lift her away from the pain,
The worn-out body that bound her,
Kept her from us while she slept
Her last year away. What would I have done?
Liz Davies writes: "My mother died when I was eight, and I miss her more now at 65, wanting to share my life with her." Liz lives in Cambridge, England, where her poetry appears regularly in The Cambridge News. I posted another beautiful poem by Liz about her father here.